Paul Joseph Christiansen was born July 31, 1914 and died December 5, 1997. He was the conductor of The Concordia Choir at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota for 49 years. He built a reputation of excellence as a choral music educator and composer. He took his choirs on tours all over the world, and performed in the great halls of America and Europe. He was instrumental in establishing the world reknowned Concordia Christmas Concerts. He had the soul of a poet, the vision of a prophet, and the heart of a disciple with gifts from the Spirit.Thousands of enriched lives, national recognition for the college, stirring music, and hundreds of conductors and musicians across the land are his legacy.
Although he arranged hundreds of pieces and wrote uncounted compositions throughout his career, Christiansen remained a private person, carrying a sense of Nordic modesty and shyness along with a fierce determination to succeed. With his shock of crisp, white hair, his square jaw and rough-hewn face, he maintained the family trait of strong self-discipline.
Current Concordia Choir director Rene Clausen said, "A man of deep conviction, he used the compositional tools of music to enhance and magnify the message of the text he is setting, and in so doing elevates the spirit of both those who sing and listen to his music."
~Thomas J Rosengren, Belgrade, MN